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I suspected this was going to be light when I read the blurb on the back cover and looks were not deceiving. One chapter in, with the sunk cost fallacy at work, I charged forward into My Best Friend’s Exorcism... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2020 at Mark Twomey
This is a brilliant story well told. In Eccentric Orbits a retiree goes to bankruptcy court and writes a personal check as a deposit on the Iridium satellite constellation. Cost of Iridium development to Motorola and its partners? $6 Billion+... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Brandon Sanderson writes 400 pages of story across a 1233 page book. I pulled this off the unread pile last week knowing that has been the case with the first two books in his Stormlight series and it continues in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Clive James was old when I was young. A man who smoked so many cigarettes per day you would question whether he trusted any air he could not see. Even when seated he looked stooped. A damp sack of flour... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Another staycation day, another book. This book opens with exploding Galaxy 7s and Samsung’s paralysis, evasion, deception, and eventual recognition of a dangerous flaw in their flagship handset. Imperial rulers prefer to tell you what the truth is and Samsung’s... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2020 at Mark Twomey
The weather today has been abominable so I finished the latest staycation book much sooner than I had expected. The problem I am now faced with is that "I’m Thinking of Ending Things" is a psychological thriller/horror novel that is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Drew Barrymore is Harley Quinn if Harley Quinn decided she wanted two children and a house filled with pets. After the slog of yesterday's staycation book it was time to breeze through something and Barrymore’s memoir “Wildflower” proved to be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Another staycation day, another book from the unread pile bites the dust. This time it was a deep dive into armed conflict resolution in Talking to Terrorists: How to End Armed Conflicts. Jonathan Powell, chief of staff to former British... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2020 at Mark Twomey
My plans for the current staycation are to put a dent in the unread book pile. The first book out was timely since the subject died this week. Recently departed media mogul, Sumner Redstone, was an uncompromising man. The King... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2020 at Mark Twomey
WarnerMedia have taken an axe to DC Comics. It is past time. As a multi-decade DC Comics reader, three years ago I found myself in a comics shop facing a wall of trash written by lazy, activist, dilettantes. Those people and all their friends have to go during this industry contraction. Take the entire comic book industry and cut the number of titles in half. Shrink the current staffing to a quarter of what it is now. That’s the future of the comic book industry. No one discusses comic book stories on Twitter. They discuss the latest Twitter freak outs... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Game books published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP) have been something I’ve seen in game stores but not anything I’ve been interested in. The blurbs on the back covers struck me as tasteless and crass. The vibe of their published adventures coming off as nihilistic and provocative for the sake of it. Now they’re in financial trouble I find myself scratching around their online store looking for something to buy. It took the pandcession for that to happen. I was speaking with someone last week who told me LotFP was facing bankruptcy. With the pandcession across the world... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
I know Worldcon and the Hugo Awards are over when my social media feeds become a cacophony of rage filled shrieking. The sound of tortured air bellowing forth from the World Science Fiction Society membership. It happens like clockwork each year. Apologies are demanded. The apologies given are said to be insincere or don't go far enough. Someone will write an article or give a speech about the travesty that was the previous Con/Awards ceremony. Attendees will call it "powerful" and the author might walk away with a Rocket the year after. Same old Hugos, same old tripe. There's a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
If there was a collection of attractive tattooed alternative models/strippers/cam girls who had an arty bent, Warren Ellis was somewhere around. This was not a secret. A decade ago if you paid attention to what was going on at parties where creative types mixed with nude models, you would see their photos snapped with him and the joyous references they made about him online. Warren was a superstar comic book author and the arty types who showed their breasts on the Internet were happy to meet him. He made them feel special. Warren was held in such high regard by... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
S3 Intelligent Tiering, Storage Class Analysis and Lifecycle Management. When do you use them? The difference between Intelligent Tiering and Storage Class Analysis with Lifecycle Management is that with Intelligent Tiering you expect that infrequently accessed data may need to be promoted back to S3 Standard from S3 Infrequent Access.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2020 at Storagezilla's Swap File
Doing your own software and your own silicon is back in computing style again. Apple have been moving towards releasing ARM powered Macs running on their in house designed processors for a while now. Off your desktop and into the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Some people are just hitmakers. When it comes to microprocessors, Jim Keller, is a hitmaker. Having worked on the AMD Athlon he drove a sword into Itanium with the K8 x86-64 bit architecture before leaving AMD for new opportunities. There... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2020 at Mark Twomey
Quibi. Think of it like this, Meg Whitman launched a video streaming company aimed at young commuters at a time when no one at all is commuting. I'll watch their stuff anyway. Quibi’s video quality is good for the mobile device you’re watching it on but their big technical innovation is in instantly reframing the shot depending on if you are viewing it in portrait or landscape. This is a mobile only app and it’s a nice effect to see when you rotate the phone but you’re going to watch it in landscape because you’re probably not a savage. Chapters... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Frustrated by movie distributors writer/director Alex Garland moved to TV with his eight part tech drama mini-series Devs. Watching this many viewers will be frustrated too. Not everyone but it is a long haul. You might like it. Let’s go negative before we finish positive. This is a four episode series stretched thinly to twice the length. Movie running times force conciseness in scripts. Or they should. Garland, stripped of a cinematic time limit indulges himself at the viewers expense. There is no line of dialogue so clunky that it gets cut, if anything bad dialogue was exhumed from whatever... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
We are living through the golden age of streaming content. I know it might not feel like that most of the time. I was lamenting there was nothing to watch as I scrolled through Netflix, but that isn't true. There's too much on offer and that amount of choice causes paralysis. What if you started into something and it sucked? You could have been watching something better. Right now there is always something better. Never has this amount of premium video content been available on demand at these prices. The major video streaming services are ploughing billions into Hollywood and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
We’re due a new edition of Dungeons of Dragons, D&D 6E. The 3.5 edition was available for five years while the (unfairly) maligned 4th edition was available for six. We’re now closing in on six years since the release of the current 5th edition of the game. I can hear the clock ticking when I think about it. 5E is good but has some things that are clunky and other things that are just..sloppy. Spell levels for example are sloppy. If you’re a 10th level wizard you don’t have access to 10th level spells. Instead you get five cantrips, four... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
The perfect Coronoavirus lock in movie is Frank Darabont’s The Mist. The ending hits hard. I watched it alone in an empty cinema and thought about it for days afterwards. You partner/spouse will hate you for making them watch it because they'll think about it for days afterwards and they can't go walk it off. It's a win-win scenario. Though maybe just for me. Thomas Jane is one of the best things in The Expanse and he’s great in this as society in a supermarket collapses around him. It's like watching a play. Jane’s character is rational and smart, the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Westworld uses as many tricks as it can to try and keep ahead of the audience. Unreliable narrators; out of order timelines; bait and switches; faked memories; all of it. Season three brings a new trick, simulations. I’m wondering how much of the “real world beyond the parks” we’re getting in this season? It is possible Dolores has already won and we’re seeing some of the journey to that in retrospect? I’m guessing we’re also watching Rehoboam running overlapping simulations and noting divergences between them. There are minor continuity errors scattered throughout the show that have to be part of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
There is an interesting book in the unfortunately titled Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope but it is not the one that I read. In the interesting book the focus is on the new things that we learn outside of the show. Such as the engineered destruction of the Romulan sun and the years long collapse of the Romulan Star Empire. The book I read covers none of this and just re-purposes current refugee disasters with Picard captaining a stand-in for an NGO vessel. You've read this story on newspaper front pages. The Federation, representing the EU, fails to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Were I to consider my coronavirus lockdown experience to date I would compare it to Funny Farm starring Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith. I don’t have a spouse that resents being cooped up together in a less than ideal situation. My neighbours are not movie stereotype oddballs. But there is a tension amongst couples I know and the people around them which permeates that movie. I detect it in the air now. The world has changed just enough to be uncomfortable for some. Tragic for others, but just uncomfortable for some. Funny Farm is about being uncomfortable. Chase and Smith... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot
Of the two “rise of the killer robots” television shows I’m watching now, Westworld and Star Trek Picard, Star Trek Picard is the dumbest. Westworld has its own problems, it’s written as a TV show for smart viewers but that doesn’t make it a smartly written TV show. Editing tricks and obscuring key facts just mean the audience spends a little more time trying to plug-in the missing information themselves. Picard on the other hand has no information to give you, it’s a dumb show written by dumb people. Star Trek wasn’t always dumb, but it descended into idiocy after... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2020 at Zilla's Parting Shot